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The Emperor’s Old Groove

Decolonizing Disney's Magic Kingdom

Brenda Ayres

Disney’s attempt to validate multicultural diversity may appear to be a worthy, even admirable, endeavor. However, the contributors of this book argue that the Disney company’s version of multiculturalism is really the same «old groove» – a surreptitious colonizing force that manipulates the psychological, cultural, and political identities of consumers, predominantly children. Demystifying the mechanisms and ideals through which Disney manages public values and expands its empire of illusory American culture, The Emperor’s Old Groove interrogates animation role models that perpetuate insidious racial, cultural, and gender stereotypes.
Contents: Susan Hines/Brenda Ayres: Introduction: (He)gemony Cricket! Why in the World Are We Still Watching Disney? – Brenda Ayres: The Wonderful World of Disney: The World That Made the Man and the Man That Made the World – Mark Axelrod: Beauties and Their Beasts & Other Motherless Tales from the Wonderful World of Walt Disney – Brenda Ayres: The Poisonous Apple in Snow White: Disney’s Kingdom of Gender – Kellie Bean: Stripping Beauty: Disney’s «Feminist» Seduction – Christiane Staninger: Disney’s Magic Carpet Ride: Aladdin and Women in Islam – Kathleen E. B. Manley: Disney, The Beast, and Woman As Civilizing Force – Brian E. Szumsky: «All That Is Solid Melts into the Air»: «The Winds of Change» and Other Analogues of Colonialism in Disney’s Mary Poppins – Christopher Wise: Notes from the Aladdin Industry: Or, Middle Eastern Folklore in the Era of Multinational Capitalism – Stephen M. Buhler: Shakespeare and Company: The Lion King and the Disneyfication of Hamlet – Richard Finkelstein: Disney’s Tempest: Colonizing Desire in The Little Mermaid – Sheng-mei Ma: Mulan Disney, It’s Like, Re-Orients: Consuming China and Animating Teen Dreams – Pushpa Naidu Parekh: Pocahontas: The Disney Imaginary – Dianne Sachko Macleod: The Politics of Vision: Disney, Aladdin, and the Gulf War.